Kidney and Acid-base Physiology

Systemic acid-base homeostasis (i.e. pH and bicarbonate buffer concentrations of extracellular fluids) is essential for organ and cell function and results from complex interactions between different organs controlling and regulating this balance.

The kidney plays a central role maintaining and regulating bicarbonate, proton (pH), and electrolyte concentrations. This requires the coordinated action of various metabolic pathways (i.e. ammoniagenesis and bicarbonate generation) and transport processes such as Na+/H+-exchange, Na+-HCO3- -symport, Cl-/HCO3- -exchange, or H+-pumping. The activity of these pathways and processes is tightly regulated and adapted. Inborn or acquired diseases affect expression and regulation of these transport pathways and result in disturbed acid-base and electrolyte homeostasis.

Our current research focuses on four fields 

  1. Role of specific transport proteins in acid-base transport and contribution to systemic acid-base balance
  2. Regulation of acid-base and ion transport by hormones and pH-sensing proteins (receptors and kinases)
  3. Adaptive processes of the kidney during acidosis
  4. Inborn or acquired errors of (renal) acid-base transport or its regulation